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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks for all the feedback.

There are a lot of points to reply to, but firstly I need to reiterate once more that we are not suggesting we charge to post on the Forum, but as Shorty so rightly says; for becoming an MLR member which has a host of benefits including this website and the Forum.

Some of the suggestions for a month trials, Forum only memberships, rolling membership, associate membership etc. are valuable ones but would be impossible to administrate in sheer time alone - and 'Forum only' memberships were actually voted against at our last meeting, as it was thought people wouldn't pay for it . . . it seems on the whole we were right.

I'm disappointed that many feel that MLR membership has little to offer. Some have kindly pointed out that the MLR website is provided for MLR members, with information for potential members. The website is a part of MLR and a huge benefit to membership (for those that have a PC) and, although some Forum users may see it from a different angle, the MLR is predominantly a car club, with events, magazines, discounts etc., and a lot of members are happy to pay their subscription even without having web-access to use the Forum.

We believe there is genuine value in becoming an MLR member - if you're interested in Evos (or Lancers of any description) then surely relevant magazines, event information and special deals will be of interest? £25 is great value for what members receive - even International members get their money's worth. Many members recoup the cost of membership through discounts whether it be via suppliers, at discounted MLR trackdays, or via information posted here. I recognise that few see themselves as wanting something for nothing and many have already made moves to join as a goodwill gesture.

There is obviously a great deal of concern about access for international members. The MLR currently has a range of international members (from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, and Europe etc.) who see the benefit of full membership despite not being able to attend events, and in recognition of this we have already reduced the rate from £30 for Europe and £35 for Worldwide, to the same as UK members to help aid this transition - and £25 only really covers the cost of everything they get sent as being a member. In answer to those who would like to join from abroad, credit card payments will also be available very soon through our new on-line shop as soon as we can make time to sort it out! Web re-vamps, improvements, etc will similarly happen as time permits. . . . please remember, everything takes time as well as money and the time is all given voluntarily.

Barry, Thank you very much for the offer of any assistance, which no-one meant to snub. We will certainly welcome your advice on how you would like your generous donation spent - perhaps a little marketing would be suitable. Your commercial viewpoint will always be welcome for those of us who do not come from such a background and I welcome your constructive comments. As mentioned elsewhere, I started the club to bring like-minded people together which it has succeeded (very well) in doing - and it has always been a very relaxed and friendly place to be, but the focus has always been on its services to members, and if we can improve that with your help then great:- as you rightly say events cost money, but as Brian rightly says:- we can't organise events without more members help in volunteering to get involved, and at this moments they have not come forward.

Unfortunately, I need to work for my income (amazing how many think the MLR actually IS my job!) and cannot take the risk of running this as a commercial venture. Perhaps someone else will one day?

The issues raised by hugely increasing membership are very real. We are (genuinely) trying to keep membership as affordable as possible, and although I know that some people are happy to pay more, we have to endeavour to balance what we charge against what we offer. If you're suggesting doubling the membership now, that says to me that you already think our services are acceptable, so what's the problem with £25???

We spend many, many hours on every part of the MLR; each mailshot, the magazine, events and in dealing with individual member queries etc. etc., (sorry if some of you think this is a worthless whinge!) and everyone who is involved in running the MLR and the website (unfortunately) has full-time jobs. Some spend virtually every 'social' minute on the MLR, which is not simply a case of banking some cheques!

We have endlessly asked members to help in a variety of roles but only a handful have ever got involved - and we saw little point in asking non-members as they obviously have no interest in the MLR anyway. Having said that we are extremely appreciative of those who have volunteered, especially our Moderators . . . although we could always do with more! (any takers??)

As you may imagine, all those who give their time to trying to make the MLR the best for its members have been somewhat taken aback by some responses and some people's lack of understanding about the personal cost of running the Register. I hope that the majority will see how they can benefit from membership and I truly hope that the forum (and the inputs of its regular users) continues. Equally I hope that other current members feel encouraged to get involved in a board that is for them and by them . . . some of whom have recently been absent due to some of the 'issues' that occur on a open-access forum!

The website and Forum provides a vast wealth of information and there are a number of ways that potential members or Evo owners can find answers to their questions without needing to post. Don't forget that everyone will always be able to see ALL the posts, and how many have used the Search facility that has always been available - or even looked at the rest of the site? or contributed to it????

Ultimately I believe that everything the MLR offers (including this website and forum) and the camaraderie that ownership and becoming an MLR member can bring is worth a lot more than the cost of a tank of SUL.

Rather than the usual comment of "what can the Register do for me?" Shouldn't you be asking "what has the Register already done for me - and what can I do for it?"!

Regards,

Darin

PS: Barry - where have I been?? At the PC designing flyers and booking forms for all the trackdays we're offering this year . . . .which I hope this is an acceptable use of my (spare) time!
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Well said.

Life is full of ungrateful bastards who want something for nothing. They make me sick, they really do.

As a Evo owner it's second nature for me to want to be a part of the MLR and so I will be.

Incidently access to the Lotus Club forum is only permitted to subscribers and that seems to work OK. Hell, I havn't even owned a Lotus for two years but happily pay my £30 a year to offer them my support.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Darin

I agree with what you say I am a fairly new member but enjoy the forum.

I have met a few people it is nice at trackdays to put handles to faces.
I own some Internet companies and maybe able to save you some money.

Let me speak to Worldpay reference your Credit Card position, and I might have another route to make you some extra money.

Many thanks from a happy member.

Dale
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Darin

Unfortunately talk is cheap no pun intended :) , there will always be people willing to sit back and critisise the effort of others while having no intension of getting involved themselves :(

I believe that the MLR is both improving and amp; expanding year on year with the good efforts of yourself and your dedicated crew by increasing the different types of events which also offers the members numerous extra benefits , but as you point out to carry on doing this its not just a money issuse - more volunteers are needed to help run them !

People should not just be asking what can the MLR do for me but also thinking of how best they can support the MLR which in return will be to the benefit of both the club and all its members.

I do believe that offering a quality membership package rather than going down the cheap / high volume membership would be the best long term route for the club to pursue.

just my 2p worth
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am not even a member yet but has been reading the forum alot. I will post my cheque out tomorrow. If you ever need any computer hardware for the MLR, I can give them at cost to you. Hope this can help a little.


Lawrence
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sh!t replied to previous thread on important changes to the MLR before reading this one.Oh well ! I'm on the same wave lenghth for once .
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I didn't respond to the other thread but thought I would to this one.

With respect, I wonder whether you've got the wrong end of the stick slightly, Darin? My take on the replies to your original message, and from the general tone of the forum is that members DO value the Register and membership but feel that restricting access to the forum would be counter-productive.

Both are valuable, and will appeal to different people. Some will want both. As a potential new Evo owner I heard about the forum and got lots of valuable info here - I would also add that although I thought I wanted an Evo the forum convinced me it was the right move and I bought one. I then sent my cheque off to you.

The bottom line is: what would be the net effect of restricting (in any way) access to the forum? I (and clearly others) believe it would be negative. As it is it draws people in to both Evo ownership and the Register. I don't believe restricting it in the way you suggest would draw in more than a handful of new members, at the cost of a loss of both goodwill and a huge resource. This forum wouldn't be what it is with only 400-500 potential posters.

OK, so a large number of people will continue to benefit without paying anything. That's life and I think the majority of those of us who do pay will just accept that.

If you want to draw in more paying members (and I suspect that's the real issue rather than it actually being the 'cost' of running the forum) then I suspect you'd get more mileage from:
a. appealing to people to get their cheque books out via a permanent message in here, reminding them that it's the Register which provides this valuable resource (other flavours of forum code allow 'sticky' messages, don't know about this one).
b. sending an email shot to all those registered in the forum but who aren't members asking them to consider joining. It should be easy enough to extract email addresses from the database and do an email merge. I'll be happy to help in that respect.
c. possibly even just sitting back doing nothing now knowing that the issue has been raised and letting folks think about it.

Bob
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
have to agree with drbob on this one. some of those points i have already raised in previous threads. especialy selling the forum to regular users.

also i believe that the for sale sections are very succesful at selling goods? how about making these a pay to display. obviously cars more expensive than parts. think how much autotrader charges you to advertise. this is a potential goldmine. i am sure if someone is looking to sell a car at 15-20k that £20 aint gonna break the bank?
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Both DrBob and amp; Robert make good points.

I have been reading posts here (and posting occasionally) for about 6 months, without really looking at the rest of the site, or taking any real note of the membership and its benefits. Had I received an Email a month or so after joining the forum, I might have taken more interest.

I, personally, believe access to the forum should remain open to all (for reading and posting), but more efforts should be made to sell the idea of MLR membership.

Since the cheque's in the post is one of the most common lies used on this planet, I will simply state that membership will soon be arranged ...
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dr. Bob

it's just like you say!

I remember a thread like 5-6 weeks ago asking people to become members and send a cheque. I agree this is the intention here. Like: we asked them, only 10 people sent us a cheque. So we restrict the access . True, but they forget that this will change the image, the potential and ultimately revenue.

People like Wazup offered a donation, and I would too if there werent too many narrow-minded moderators on here. It would be a pleasure.

Do you know when the USA gained more money than the previous year from tax collection? When the Reagan government LOWERED the taxes. Because companies stayed in the USA. And you know what that means for you? that if you restrict this forum's access, people will go elsewhere. A natural reaction.

Just why dont you understand this? Or do you but dont care??
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree the forum should stay open to all, I am now sending of the cash though, as I do use this forum alot..
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Darin,

I hope you haven't got too disheartened with the comments that have been made. I'm sure EVERYONE who's a member fully appreciates the value for money that they get from the measley membership fee of £25.00. When I joined three years ago, I thought the 'The Mag' and the information provided in it was worth the money alone! I've only really used the forum for the past year and a half, and whilst I enjoy the camaraderie that goes on here, it's only part of the overall package. I take advantage of the MLR name in securing myself discounts, but am too chicken s**t to go on a trackday as I've only got one car. I'm more than happy with what the MLR gives me for the money, and I would suspect that most people are.

90% of us are guilty of not helping (I will write that article soon damn it ;)), and I would hope that a little more enthusiasm rather than damnation could be given to you and the guys to help out. Hell, if I can't even write one article in the time I've got, how the hell do you manage to run a club in yours?

At the end of the day, were all fortunate enough to be members of a club that offers good value, and has a chairman who is at least willing to listen. What other clubs do you know of that give it's members the chance to alter things? I'm sure the Beano club wouldn't :D!

Guys, whether we agree or not with the membership only forum, don't let it spoil the atmosphere we have here. Let's just get on with it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Both viewpoints are quite understandable, and the silent majority like myself with few postings to their name really do value the Forum and those who help make it possible.

As long as read access is kept open to all, you'll still get occasional visitors like myself popping in, having a laugh, seeing the board's worth, and slowly coming round to the idea of joining in full.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Darin,

Nice reply to the reactions. But I'm afraid you're still missing the point slightly. Saying to people Ask not what the Register can do for you but what YOU can do for the Register is a bit shallow minded. By that I mean the forum is give and take. I know when I joined that I was initially looking for advice and info on my car, after that I have rarely asked for advice but given it where I can. This seems to be the case with alot of guys I know on here. To say that I would get value for money if I joined the club just to use the forum is wrong as it doesn't offer us international members anything else but the forum!. To use the forum as one of the perks of joining the club is a mistake, the forum should be used as a channel to attract people to join the club.
Your point about non-members having no interest in the club is wrong too. If I lived in the UK I would've been a paid member from the start. I was asked a while back about being a Moderator for this forum but since I was not a paid member the suggestion was retracted:(. I would gladly be a Moderator and try to help the register sort out the Forum issues out in any way I could. But to ask me to pay just so I can volunteer my services seems to be the wrong way to go about things.
I think the only way to attract international paying members is to offer something of a substitute to what we would be missing out on if we lived in the UK, what this is I don't know but i'm thinking about it;). One suggestion I have (but don't know if it works for others), I would join if there was a branch of MLR here in Eire. I would straight away offer my services as branch secretary;), So if any other Irish Evo owners where thinking about joining at least they would have a contact closer to home and make them feel as if there would be getting a service from the Register if they joined. I've met a few Irish Evo drivers through this forum and we help each other out in what ever way we can, but we feel detached from the Register due to not being able to take part in trackdays/meets or discounts. If there was an MLR secretary here I would of joined long ago just because I could feel part of something.

Anyway enough of my rambling. I wish you all the best in what ever direction the register takes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree with DrBob.

The forum should be available for everyones use and enjoyment.

Skeletor
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Whether I agree with the decision or not is irrelevant. I'm not currently a member but had vowed to become one should I attend another MLR trackday (I've attended 3 over the past couple of years).

If becoming a member earlier means I can keep posting on this forum then that's what I'll do. I don't currently own an Evo but this is by far one of the best places for talking to other car enthusiasts, Evo or no Evo.

Ian.
 
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